Flash fire burns two men

By Jim Haley

Herald Writer

MARYSVILLE — Two installers were injured, one critically, when a fire flashed through a small home here Monday.

The father-and-son team was working to install a laminated wall covering in the bathroom of a home in the 14100 block of 51st Avenue NE when the fire erupted, Marysville fire officials said.

The men were identified as Jesse King, 47, and Jacob King, 20, of Marysville.

Jesse King was burned over 90 percent of his body and is in critical condition, a spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said. Jacob King was in satisfactory condition with burns over 10 percent of his body.

Snohomish County fire marshal investigators were at the scene Monday attempting to determine the cause.

Investigator Gary Bontrager said the men had been working in the bathroom. They rolled out the covering on the kitchen floor and were applying cementing material.

The location was near a gas water heater that Bontrager said apparently had not been turned off. He believes the heater’s pilot light ignited the vapors.

The occupants of the home were identified as Dan and Julie McCants. The family lost all clothing and other possessions, including Christmas presents for their two children, ages 13 and 6.

The McCants didn’t have renters’ insurance, homeowner Sherry Hinds said.

Dan McCants, who has been injured and out of work for six months, was at home at the time of the fire. He escaped by leaping through a window, Bontrager said.

He estimated $100,000 damage to the home itself and $30,000 to its contents.

Marysville fire Lt. David VanBeek said flames were leaping out of the back part of the home when firefighters arrived. Several Marysville fire units and help from Arlington arrived to put out the fire and attend to the injured workers.

Two helicopters were summoned to airlift the burned men to Harborview. They landed in the parking lot of a nearby church on 51st Avenue NE.

The burned men worked for Unique Interiors of Arlington, where employees were stunned by the news. Jesse King had worked for the company about 13 years, a company spokeswoman said, and was regarded as an expert installer.

The company’s owner, Dave Rohde, spent the day with members of the King family, she said.

Hinds said she has established a fund at any Snohomish County PUD Credit Union branch to help the occupants. Donations can be made to the Dan and Julie McCants Fund, she said.

A fund has been established to help a family who lost clothing, Christmas presents and other goods during a fire Monday. Donations can be made to the Dan and Julie McCants Fund at any Snohomish County PUD Credit Union branch.

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